Koat Keat leaves his mark on Crean Lutheran basketball’s championship victory over Agoura – Daily News

IRVINE — Crean Lutheran boys basketball coach Nate Klitzing has told anyone willing to listen that Koat Keat is a “program-changing player.”

Klitzing’s words came through loud and clear as the 6-foot-9 Keat scored 18 of his team-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Saints past Agoura 68-58 in the CIF-SS Division 2A final on Wednesday in front of a raucous crowd at Crean Lutheran High.

The top-seeded Saints (18-2) won their second CIF-SS title in school history.

“We knew we had pieces and we had some great individual players, but KK (Keats) is the guy who can do it all and he can put you over the top,” Klitzing said. “He can make a free throw when you need it, he can get a rebound when you need it, can bring the ball up the floor, and he covers up our sins half the time, you know.”

Keat, a junior, also collected 16 rebounds and dished out six assists with impressive passing in the low post. He made a pair of clutch free throws late in the fourth with the Saints trying to protect a 61-58 lead.

A 7-0 run to end the game was punctuated by a thunderous slam dunk by Keat with 25 seconds left.

Michael Birket added 18 points including four 3-pointers, and Jack Fairchild was the prototypical sixth-man with 12 points off the bench.

On the defensive side of the ball, 6-11 junior James Agany blocked eight shots and was the anchor for Crean Lutheran’s defense.

“James makes our team different because we have two guys with that size and length, it’s incredible.” Klitzing said of his twin towers Keat and Agany.

Keat only scored four points in the first half, but Agany picked up the slack with eight first-half points.

Agoura (17-8) trailed by as much as 11 in the second half but used its long-distance shooting to stay close. The Chargers hit 10 3-pointers in the game.

Jed Miller knocked down five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points for the Chargers, and Jon Spayne finished with 12 points.

Agoura, the Marmonte League champion, made its first appearance in a CIF-SS final since 1974, which was a loss to El Dorado.

Klitzing called winning this CIF championship at home a “once in a lifetime experience.”

“Because of COVID, we were able to have it at home and it can’t get any more special than this, in front of our fans,” he said. “The way we played and the way we did it together as a group, I’m just so proud.”

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